Virginia State Seal Virginia Department of Historic Resources

052-0018 Ely Mound

Ely Mound
Photo credit: Tom Klatka/DHR, 2013

*Click on image to enlarge.

For additional information, read the Nomination Form PDF

VLR Listing Date 04/19/1983

NRHP Listing Date 07/28/1983

DHR's Virginia Board of Historic Resources easement

NRHP Reference Number 83003287

Dating to the Late Woodland/Mississippian period (ca A.D. 1200-1650), the Ely Mound archaeological site in Lee County is the only clearly identified substructure or town house mound in Virginia. As such, the mound and associated occupation areas should supply much information on the development of increasingly complex societies in southwestern Virginia during the Late Woodland/Mississippian period and the interactions of those societies with the more complex societal groups in what are now North Carolina and Tennessee. The Ely Mound is also significant in the history of American archaeological studies. Lucian Carr’s excavations here in the 1870s led him to reject emphatically the “lost race” hypothesis for Mound Builders in eastern North America, a popular theory among 19th-century American archaeologists.

Many properties listed in the registers are private dwellings and are not open to the public, however many are visible from the public right-of-way. Please be respectful of owner privacy.

VLR: Virginia Landmarks Register
NPS: National Park Service
NRHP: National Register of Historic Places
NHL: National Historic Landmark

Updated: December 17, 2022